Showbiz

Israel has the X Factor for Paula and Simon

By Charlotte Oliver, October 29, 2013

Former US X Factor judge and 1980s pop star Paula Abdul arrived in Tel Aviv yesterday ahead of a 10-day trip that will see her tour Israel, meet the president, and even have a batmitzvah ceremony at the Western Wall.

Ms Abdul will be travelling to major sites in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and the Galilee as a guest of the Ministry of Tourism.

More..

Velvet Underground legend Lou Reed dies aged 71

By Charlotte Oliver, October 28, 2013

Rock legend Lou Reed, who began his career fronting the 1960s band Velvet Underground, died yesterday at the age of 71.

The exact cause of death has not been reported, but according to his literary agent, it was a “liver-related ailment”.

More..

When Harold Pinter had his own dramatic pause

By Isabelle Fraser , October 24, 2013

Harold Pinter was known as the master of the dramatic pause, but this was the moment the playwright found himself unable to speak.

It was July 1988, and Pinter, one of British theatre’s most eminent figures, was at the Purcell Room in London, taking part in a reading primarily from Martin Gilbert's work, The Holocaust.

More..

Michael Grade, lord of the song and dance, on Broadway

By Brigit Grant, October 24, 2013

In any great adventure,
that you don’t want to lose,
victory depends upon the people that you choose.
So, listen, Arthur darling, closely to this news:
We won’t succeed on Broadway,
If you don’t have any Jews*

*Courtesy of Eric Idle’s Spamalot

More..

Don't don that niqab, Madge

By Julie Burchill, October 23, 2013

On hearing that Madonna is reading the Koran, and might be converting from Kabbalism to Islam, I must admit that my first reaction was not sorrow or outrage but rather a bone-deep weariness.

More..

Survivor musician film shortlisted for Oscar

By Barry Toberman, October 17, 2013

A film about a London-based 109-year-old Holocaust survivor has reached the final eight in the Oscar selection process for the documentary short category.

The Lady in Number Six: Music Saved My Life tells the story of Prague-born musician and teacher Alice Herz-Sommer, who was sent to Theresienstadt.

More..

Best-selling novelist Anthony Horowitz almost gave up career over fear of 'going blind'

By Charlotte Oliver, October 15, 2013

Anthony Horowitz has revealed he almost gave up writing this year, after developing a serious eye condition that could potentially lead to blindness.

Mr Horowitz, 58, was advised by specialists to stop writing books, after untreatable cysts were discovered at the back of both of his eyes.

More..

Why Vanessa Feltz is sobbing ahead of Strictly performance

By Sandy Rashty, October 4, 2013

Vanessa Feltz says reheasing the waltz for Strictly Come Dancing this week has made her want to cry.

The broadcaster and journalist has spent the week practising the dance with her partner James Jordan, for a performance on the BBC show tomorrow night.

She said: “The waltz is about love and loss. Just like everyone else, I have been through some tough times.

More..

Stephen Fry is 'evil', says anti-gay Russian politician

By Rosa Doherty, September 30, 2013

Stephen Fry has been labelled "evil" by Russian politician Vitaly Milonov over his views on gay rights in Russia.

Mr Fry criticised Russia’s anti-gay laws in March and called on David Cameron, Sebastian Coe and the International Olympic Committee to boycott the 2014 Russian Winter Olympics.

More..

Mixed fortunes for Rachel Riley and Vanessa Feltz in Strictly

By Charlotte Oliver, September 29, 2013

Strictly Come Dancing shimmied back onto television screens this weekend, with notable performances from contestants Rachel Riley and Vanessa Feltz.

Ms Riley and her professional dance partner Pasha Kovalev impressed the audience with their romantic waltz to Luther Vandross’s When I Need You.

More..